Friday, August 29, 2014

Scavenger Hunt August Linky: Those Last Few Pesky Items . . .

Welcome to the August Link for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt! As we turn the page on the calendar and head into the last few weeks of summer and look towards the end of the Hunt (on September 23, 2014), my thoughts turn to the last few pesky items to be found. 
I had taken a serviceable photo of my car horn but hadn't shared it yet because I wanted to find a better one. And I did! I love the big horn sheep I found mounted in the local ale house. So that's #11 A Horn. And that leaves me with just two more items to be found: a rural landscape and a juggler.  I have faith in my ability to take the landscape. I just need to grab my camera and go for a drive - maybe this weekend. 
But the juggler will be much harder.  Am I worried? No. Because I know the Scavenger Hunt always has a little magic waiting for me. If you have any doubt, check out this story which goes with this photo from 2011
And, if all else fails, I found this wonderful bird house (alternate B) while hiking in Idyllwild:
So, now it's your turn. Show us what you've found by linking up a recent post below. And do try to visit a few of the other participants to see what they've found. There will be one more linky at the end of Summer (Sept. 23), which is a great opportunity to do a summary summery post!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Quick Hello and Scavenger Hunt Linky Reminder

Hi all!!!
I've been super busy here with the end of our summer break and beginning of the school year for me and for my daughter Clara. I wanted to pop in to remind everyone, though, that I will be hosting the end of the August linky for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt this weekend (I'll put it up to start Friday night, August 29, California time). Please check in with your latest finds. I've really enjoyed seeing what everyone has been up to on instagram and facebook. I apologize for not getting around to my feedly reader to catch up on blog posts, but, as I said, I've been super busy!
Doing what?
Well, helping Clara finish her summer reading for school:
Taking her shopping and then sending her off for her first day of her junior year. She looks very grown up for 16, doesn't she?
We've also been spending time volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafeal.  It will be our regular Sunday volunteer gig this year.
We're working in the boarding/neo natal kennels. That's Clara doing health checks, which includes cleaning ears and brushing teeth. We also give baths, clean kennels and feed the dogs. We don't work with the puppies, but do get to see them occasionally:
And that's your dose of cute for today!
Hope to see you back this weekend for the linky.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Special Bakery Trip

My home town has several wonderful, traditional bakeries.  As the summer winds down, I thought about just heading downtown to find item #9 for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - a bakery.
But in the spirit of the Scavenger Hunt - using it as an excuse good reason to take a day trip - I decided to seek out a Chinese bakery near my son's workplace. It's called Napoleon Super Bakery. Isn't that a great name! 
There are all kinds of wonderful rolls and buns.
Customers select what they want and place them on to trays with tongs.
The bakery is best known for its egg tarts, which it keeps in the back and in a display case by the cash register.
I bought one of the wonderful egg tarts and a BBQ pork bun. Both for less than $2.00 total!
Now, I only have three items left to find - a rural landscape (easy to find; I just need to make the time for a camera date); a horn (I have a boring one, but want to find a better one); and a juggler. I do have one of the alternatives, but I'm still hoping to find the juggler. 
How are you coming on the Hunt? Are you getting near the end?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two Variations on Urban Street Scenes

Yesterday I posted a variety of urban street scenes which to me were pretty traditional. Today I'm posting two variations. Both were taken in urban areas (the first in Oakland and the second in San Francisco), but neither is technically on a street. 
This first one was taken in an urban park/playground. I didn't intend to take a photograph of a child because I thought that was a bit invasive. I was really just trying to capture the mural. But I love how this turned out with the child.
And then there's this:
This was taken on the edge of Golden Gate Park. This wonderful, sweet, caring woman walks her dog and tends this patch of garden every day. She lives just up the block and always has a big smile on her face. It's a kinder, gentler urban street scene. But I do love it.
What about you? How do you think these compare to the ones I posted yesterday? What type of street scene are you capturing for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Searching Chinatown for an Urban Street Scene

Yesterday I headed over to the Chinatown district in Oakland, California. I took my camera along, in the hopes of finding Item #6 for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - an urban street scene. I found myself drawn to shots which included people. I like how the folks above all seem to be marching along.
It's a little hard to see the details in these two unless you click on them and enlarge them. But I really like how they capture so much of what's going on in the city. And I took a couple without people.
I like the juxtaposition of the buildings, cars and umbrellas, as well as the variation in the graffiti and fonts on the signs.
This one's a little clever - it's a mural of an urban street scene. I almost included this mural from yesterday in today's post because it is an interesting urban street scene. 
Finally, I snapped this one on my way into the subway. I love it, but I'm not sure it's a street scene.
All in all, it was a fun day, and I'm so glad I brought my camera along. Just before posting, this article about creating urban landscapes and street images popped up in my feedly reader. It made me rethink my image selection a little bit, but I'm going with these anyway. I'd be interested to hear which of these images is your favorite and why. I'm also going to post two more images tomorrow which are kindof nontraditional takes on the idea of an urban street scene. I hope you come back and check them out. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

ZIZO #31: Chinatown Murals

I have a nice three-part zoom in < zoom out photographic offering this week for Helena's awesome meme. See other people's offerings here. I found this beautiful mural in Oakland's Chinatown district. My son Henry is working there this summer, and I went in to meet him for lunch. I took my camera along with me to capture some items for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt (coming this weekend), but I couldn't resist this mural, along with a couple others.
Kim Huong is the name of a local restaurant. I love the juxtaposition of the dragon and butterfly. And that green combination.
The grungy, urban feel of this mural, accented by boxes and fire hydrant really drew me in. For all of these photographs, I invite you to click on them so you can see them larger and in more detail. Come back this weekend to see what I found for the Scavenger Hunt while wandering through Chinatown.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Newborn Photography

Yesterday I posted a photograph I took of my niece's new baby.  Lilly Skye was born prematurely and spent a bit of time in the NICU. Now, two months old, she's doing well and just starting to fit into her newborn clothes. 
During our visit, I grabbed the opportunity to do a brief, informal photo shoot. I grabbed the best light I could find and posed the sleeping tyke the best I could. 
I also took some close-ups of her face, fingers and toes.
I also took a few family shots.
And I played a tiny bit with some black and white processing
On the whole, I was happy with the photographs I took. And my niece was thrilled with them. But, I wish I had done a bit more preparation about what type of shots to take and I wish I had more time to take photographs. I also wish I had my reflectors and tripod. The only other time I've photographed a baby was during this shoot for a class.
So, I'm curious about any advice you have for photographing babies - either for posing or for technique. Thanks!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

One Photo and Twenty Words: Lilly Skye!

Took a trip down South to visit family and meet my niece's baby. 
Welcome to the world Lilly Skye!
Abi, over at Creating Paper Dreams, challenges people to tell a story in one photo and twenty words. You can see more by clicking here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Shooting Star Fence (Good Fences Link-Up)

It's been too long since I've linked up with the Run*A*Round Ranch Report's Thursday Good Fences link-up. I couldn't resist capturing these star-studded fences at Universal Studios in Southern California.
They remind me of the Marilyn Monroe quote, "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle." Here's hoping you've twinkled lately! 
To see more wonderful fences, check out this link.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Two Waterfalls from my Travels

When I first put Item #18 A Waterfall on the list for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, this is what I think I had in mind. . . a natural waterfall. I found this one on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona where my brother and sister work (and where Clara is considering going to school). But, during the hunt I have seen many waterfalls like this one:
It's a man made one that I found while playing tourist near Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. It definitely says "water fall" to me, as well. Although some might call it a water fountain. What do you think a waterfall means? What kind did you capture?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Good Morning Sunrise! Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt #13

I've watched a lot of sunsets in my time. We live on the Coast with a westward facing deck, and my husband has been a sunset aficionado his entire life. But I can't remember ever consciously watching a sunrise before. Our house is not well suited to the endeavor. Besides the lack of a clear view at the East, mornings tend to be foggy and damp. The sun breaks through in the mid-late afternoon. But, Clara and I decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Southern California to visit relatives, and we started our adventure in the mountains around Idyllwild visiting my sister. I told her I wanted to take a photograph of the sunset, and she told me it would crest the ridge around 6:30 a.m. That seemed very civilized, so this morning I got up to try to capture it. This image is from my iphone, processed in instagram ("rise," of course). I took lots of photographs with my big camera and will post those when I get back home.
In the meantime, I wanted to post this one and to say thank you to everyone who linked up this weekend with the July linky for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. If you haven't yet, it's not too late to do so. Just click here and add a link to a post about one or more of your Hunt finds and do try to visit a few other participants. I'm off to do some catching up myself, and I'll check in when we're back from our trip.